(Eagle News)–Forty stranded Filipinos repatriated from North Sulawesi, Indonesia amid the COVID-19 pandemic have arrived in the country.
The Department of Foreign Affairs said the second batch of repatriates from Manado were fetched by the Philippine Coast Guard vessel “BRP Tubbataha” (MRRV-4401) on October 15 after being granted diplomatic clearance by the Government of the Republic of Indonesia.
The vessel docked at the port of General Santos in the morning of October 17 in what the department said was its first repatriation via sea during the COVID-19 crisis.
The department said representatives from the local governments of General Santos City, Davao City, Mati City, municipalities of Glan and Malungon in Sarangani Province, municipality of Governor Generoso in Davao Oriental, and municipalities of Sarangani, and Sta. Maria in Davao Occidental, were present to receive their respective constituents.
Swab tests were administered to all repatriates prior to their departure in compliance with health protocols implemented by the Inter-Agency Task Force on Emerging Infectious Diseases.
The DFA said they were subjected to another round of mandatory RT-PCR testing and a 14-day quarantine in designated facilities before being cleared to return to their families.
The repatriation was made possible with the “full support and cooperation” of the DFA – Office of the Undersecretary of Migrant Workers Affairs (OUMWA), the PCG – CGD Southern Mindanao, the Philippine Ports Authority – Port Management Office of General Santos, the Bureau of Quarantine, the Bureau of Immigration, and the local government unit of General Santos, the DFA said, as it pledged “full commitment” to bringing home stranded Filipinos abroad.
The DFA has repatriated over 200,000 overseas Filipinos amid the COVID-19 pandemic.